Posted on: 26 September 2016
Young people are faced with a multitude of life-changing decisions each day. However, there aren't many decisions that will affect their lives as much as the decision to start drinking alcohol. Unlike other types of decisions, the decision to start drinking alcohol affects your teenager's grades, overall health, and relationships. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do, as a parent, to help prevent your teen from becoming an alcoholic.
Explain the Risks
It's not likely that any teen starts drinking with the goal to become an alcoholic. Most teens start drinking to fit in with their friends or drink specifically to get drunk. Unfortunately, the best way to prevent alcoholism is abstinence, and many teens don't know the risk that they are taking when they drink. Sure, they probably know that drinking and driving is never okay and that they shouldn't be drinking alcohol. But, it's also important to discuss what causes someone to have a high risk of becoming an alcoholic. This includes:
- Teens with a family history of alcoholism.
- People who start drinking at a young age.
- People who binge drink steadily over time.
- Anyone suffering from mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.
Most teens have goals and dreams. They want to build a good life for themselves. Knowing and understanding that even casually drinking as a teen makes them more likely to become an alcoholic can make a big impact, and it may help them have the courage to decline alcoholic beverages when offered.
It's important for teens to have an adult that they feel like they can talk to about their problems. They need to have adults in their life that they can rely on to help them make decisions such as whether or not to drink alcohol at a party. Unfortunately, as a parent it can be difficult to be that person, because you're also the person that hands out punishments. Try your best to develop an open and honest relationship with your teen so that he or she feels comfortable coming to you about problems. However, if you have trouble developing a relationship that allows that type of communication, introduce other role models into your teen's life. Adult support can come from teachers, coaches, pastors, family friends, and relatives. If you don't think that your teen has enough adult support, consider arranging time for your teen to spend with an aunt, uncle, or other trusted adult on a regular basis. Hopefully, they will form a relationship that gives your teen the adult support that he or she needs.
Your Teen's Friends
While you can't make friends for your teen, you need to pay attention to who's spending time with your teen. If your teen's group of friends consists of other teens who drink alcohol regularly, you should talk to your teen about the possibility of making new friends. Remember, discussing your teen's friends is a delicate conversation. So. instead of demanding your teen ditch their friends and make new ones, consider talking to your teen about getting involved in different extracurricular activities and encouraging your teen to attend events where they are likely to meet people who are more suitable.
Preventing teenage alcoholism is important. To do this, you need to make teenage alcoholism a topic that's regularly discussed in your home and make sure your teen has all the support needed. Begin a teenager isn't easy, but making the decision to start drinking alcohol can make your teen's life a lot harder in the long run. For more information on alcoholism prevention, contact a company like Recovery Your Way.Share